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Runaway Tran

American J.C. Tran wins the World Championship of Online Poker Main Event

The 2006 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) Main Event positively blew people away—especially players and organizers. More than 2,500 players put up $2,600 each to build a record-breaking $6,275,000 prize pool and a first-prize of $1,157,737.50, the biggest in online poker history.

In this fifth WCOOP, the series boasted 18 events, including the first-time addition of Razz and HORSE tournaments, and players from 89 different countries played for a WCOOP title. From Bangladesh, Belize and Finland, to Macedonia and Malaysia, players built prize pools that grew in excess of $18.5 million.

Despite the huge money on the line, the players were not scared to jump into the deep end, which began in the afternoon of October 1. In the opening moments, GODFATHER 72 from the UK put his entire stack on the line pre-flop against Canadian Lefort’s AK. GODFATHER 72 won the race and doubled up early. Just a minute later, fellow Canadian serb2127 lost nearly half his stack when he took AQ to battle with the American Numie2’s pair of aces.

As the field whittled down to six, and with so much money left on the table, the players decided that a locked-up payday was better than shooting for the one million. So they decided to split up the pot based on chip count. With insanely big paydays for all of them, the players went to work for the remaining $50,000 and the championship bracelet.

Pro player J.C. Tran, aka area23JC from Sacramento, California, started to pick apart the competition and that’s when the chips started flying. Lefort doubled through GODFATHER 72 with AQ versus A5 on an ace-high flop. A few hands later, Lefort crushed GODFATHER_72 after flopping a set. GODFATHER 72 finished in fourth place and cashed for $540,793.00.

Lefort took over the chip lead from Tran, if briefly, and bowed out in third place. Heads-up play began with Tran holding around $18 million in chips to American hannibalrex’s $6 million. The rest of the game, and the tournament, would last less than 30 seconds. Hannibalrex came in for a raise with A4 and Tran called. The flop came 2C-5D-KS. Tran check-called hannibalrex’s bet. The turn was a four, giving hannibalrex a pair to go along with his gutshot straight draw. He bet out and Tran moved all-in. Hannibalrex called to see Tran's K9. The river blanked and hannibalrex was out, earning $400,581.00.

So 18 events and $18 million worth of prize money made the WCOOP the biggest in online poker history and cemented WCOOP as one of the biggest poker events—live or online—in the world.

PokerStars WCOOP Main Event Results
Results based on finishing order and six-way deal that left $50,000 for first place
1. J.C. Tran -- aka area23JC (United States) $670,194.00
2. hannibalrex (United States) $400,581.00
3. Lefort (Canada) $417,734.00
4. GODFATHER 72 (United Kingdom) $540,793.00
5. Numie2 (United States) $600,042.00
6. DEEZZZ_NUTS (United States) $353,164.00
7. Annette_15 (Norway) $163,150.00
8. milkybarkid (United Kingdom) $119,225.00
9. serb2127 (Canada) $79,065.00
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